18 May Creativity and Action – How Do You Cope With Both of These?
Creative projects require large doses of both creativity and action to bring them to life. It is easy to talk about what you “could” do, but to act on ideas requires you to take risks and push your boundaries. Almost certainly starting out on your creative project will require you to push outside your comfort zone and learn new things – about yourself and about the world around you. To inspire you to push through that, I recently came across this video that may make you think again:
There has been research into how to find and maintain creative momentum in adults. For some people finding momentum gets bogged down with having too many ideas, all apparently equally good, and that can make it difficult to get started. It is impossible to give multiple projects equal and sustained attention, so my advice is to make a note of your idea and the inspiration, possible domain names, keywords, reference articles. On Macs there is an app called “Notes” which you can access from your phone, laptop, or tablet, so you are never far from being able to write down an idea, and also use the app “Pocket” where you can quickly store links to return to later. This way I can keep adding to secondary ideas as I come across information, and having done so, can go right back to the main task. (OK, so I will usually buy a domain name and sketch out a website to see how the idea feels, but each to their own process!)
It feels important to acknowledge ideas as come to me, even though it does make for periods of creative chaos instead of action. Unless I am on deadline I will usually give the idea some time to form, will jot down thoughts about it, think about whether I am truly interested in developing it, and decide whether it will require too much time, money, or help from others, to be viable in the immediate future. I still keep the notes for the idea as it is interesting to note that if you ignore an idea, a few months later you will be hit with the same idea again, in a slightly different context or light, and realize you need to make it your priority.
For me once I green light an idea it tends to take on its own momentum and becomes all consuming. Suddenly everywhere I look there are books, references to it online, images that capture the concept beautifully, or I will find myself in a conversation with a total stranger (I must have an invisible sign on my forehead that says, ‘talk to me, I’m harmless’) and they will reference something about that topic. If the momentum dies I have to think whether I want to push through and persist – the answer is usually “yes”, but if not, I try to understand why the enthusiasm has gone away. Sometimes ideas just run out of steam and it is time to move on. Its OK, you have plenty more to return to!
Sometimes my initial reluctance to start a project has cost me dearly, when I find that someone else has got the idea out into the world ahead of me. Then I have to decide if I want to do a “me too” project, or if my take is sufficiently different there is room for both ideas to succeed.
If this idea is the basis of your next big step, then it is important to keep working on it, even when you aren’t feeling enthusiastic. Creativity definitely benefits from constant action, so it sometimes helps to find a new way to motivate yourself. If you create crafts try finding a fair to sell at, or look for a MeetUp where you can talk to other crafters. If you are a specialist, then make sure to meet with others in your field to remind yourself of your passion. It can be a great way to do customer research and may help you find potential clients! Whatever you can come up with, go and take action. Or you’ll realize this isn’t your passion project and that it is time to let it go and move on.
How about you, do you follow one idea at a time or do you also have to pick favorites? How do you handle creativity and action?